''ScreenPlay'' is a
television drama In film and television, drama is a category or genre of narrative fiction (or semi-fiction) intended to be more serious than humorous in tone. Drama of this kind is usually qualified with additional terms that specify its particular super ...
anthology series An anthology series is a radio programming, radio, television program, television, video game or film series that spans different genres and presents a different story and a different set of characters in each different episode, Season (televis ...
broadcast on
BBC2 BBC Two is a British free-to-air public broadcast television network owned and operated by the BBC. It covers a wide range of subject matter, with a remit "to broadcast programmes of depth and substance" in contrast to the more mainstream an ...
between 9 July 1986 and 27 October 1993.


After single-play anthology series went off the air, the BBC introduced several showcases for made-for-television, feature length filmed dramas, including ''ScreenPlay''. Various writers and directors were utilized on the series. Writer Jimmy McGovern was hired by producer George Faber to pen a series five episode based upon the
Merseyside Merseyside ( ) is a metropolitan and ceremonial county in North West England, with a population of 1.38 million. It encompasses both banks of the Mersey Estuary and comprises five metropolitan boroughs: Knowsley, St Helens, Sefton, Wirral ...
needle exchange programme of the 1980s. The episode, directed by Gillies MacKinnon, was entitled ''Needle'' and featured Sean McKee, Emma Bird, and Pete Postlethwaite''.'' The last episode of the series was titled "Boswell and Johnson's Tour of the Western Islands" and featured
Robbie Coltrane Anthony Robert McMillan (30 March 195014 October 2022), known professionally as Robbie Coltrane, was a Scottish actor and comedian. He gained worldwide recognition in the 2000s for playing Rubeus Hagrid in the ''Harry Potter'' film series. H ...
as English writer
Samuel Johnson Samuel Johnson (18 September 1709  – 13 December 1784), often called Dr Johnson, was an English writer who made lasting contributions as a poet, playwright, essayist, moralist, critic, biographer, editor and lexicographer. The '' Oxford ...
, who in the autumn of 1773, visits the
Hebrides The Hebrides (; gd, Innse Gall, ; non, Suðreyjar, "southern isles") are an archipelago off the west coast of the Scottish mainland. The islands fall into two main groups, based on their proximity to the mainland: the Inner and Outer Hebri ...
off the north-west coast of Scotland. That episode was directed by John Byrne and co-starred John Sessions and
Celia Imrie Celia Diana Savile Imrie (born 15 July 1952) is an English actress and author. She was described in 2003 as one of the most successful British actresses of recent decades. She is best known for her film roles, including the ''Bridget Jones'' fi ...
. Some scenes were shot at
Lennoxlove House Lennoxlove House is a historic house set in woodlands half a mile south of Haddington in East Lothian, Scotland. The house comprises a 15th-century tower, originally known as Lethington Castle, and has been extended several times, principally ...
East Lothian East Lothian (; sco, East Lowden; gd, Lodainn an Ear) is one of the 32 council areas of Scotland, as well as a historic county, registration county and lieutenancy area. The county was called Haddingtonshire until 1921. In 1975, the histo ...
and others in the Scottish Borders.(2015
Filmed here – 1993, Boswell & Johnson's Tour of the Western Isles, John Byrne
Film Edinburgh, Retrieved 20 February 2015


Series 1 (1986)

Series 2 (1987)

Series 3 (1988)

Series 4 (1989)

Series 5 (1990)

Series 6 (1991)

Series 7 (1992)

Series 8 (1993)

Notable productions

* '' Cariani and the Courtesans'' (1987) * '' You, Me & Marley'' (1992)


External links

IMDb IMDb (an abbreviation of Internet Movie Database) is an online database of information related to films, television series, home videos, video games, and streaming content online – including cast, production crew and personal biographies, ...
' at
BBC Two BBC Two is a British free-to-air public broadcast television network owned and operated by the BBC. It covers a wide range of subject matter, with a remit "to broadcast programmes of depth and substance" in contrast to the more mainstream a ...
Genome Project Genome projects are scientific endeavours that ultimately aim to determine the complete genome sequence of an organism (be it an animal, a plant, a fungus, a bacterium, an archaean, a protist or a virus) and to annotate protein-coding genes and ot ...
{{DEFAULTSORT:ScreenPlay 1986 British television series debuts 1993 British television series endings 1980s British drama television series 1990s British drama television series 1980s British anthology television series 1990s British anthology television series Samuel Johnson British drama television series BBC television dramas Films shot in the Scottish Borders Films shot in East Lothian English-language television shows